ADA Attorney California

Workplace Reasonable Accommodations

If you have a disability and are employed, or looking for a job, your right to ask for reasonable accommodations is one of the most important parts of the ADA. In addition to protecting people with disabilities from discrimination, the ADA also requires employers to supply you with accommodations at your workplace or when you apply for a job, unless doing so would be an undue burden or hardship to the employer. An undue burden means it would be very difficult or very expensive for the employer to give you the accommodation you ask for.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that makes it illegal for employers, state and local governments, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunication agencies to discriminate against anyone with a disability. Discrimination means you are treated unfairly or unequally because you have a disability.

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employers of five or more employees to provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with a physical or mental disability to apply for jobs and to perform the essential functions of their jobs unless it would cause an undue hardship.

Some examples of possible accommodations include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • An employee who is blind can request a computer screen reader to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.
  • Changing job duties, restructuring the job description to eliminate non-essential functions.
  • Employees with disabilities may have separate rights to unpaid leave under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act or the California Family Rights Act. (e.g., allowing an employee to take time off from work for doctor’s or therapist’s appointments)
  • Allowing an employee, a flexible work schedule so they may work more hours on good days and fewer hours when necessary.
  • Relocating the work area, reassignment to a vacant position.
  • Providing mechanical or electrical aids.
  • Allowing applicants or employees to bring assistive animals to the worksite.
  • Making facilities readily accessible to and usable by disabled individuals. (e.g., providing accessible break rooms, restrooms, training rooms or reserved parking places)

In California, it is unlawful for an employer to fail to engage in a timely, good faith, interactive process. The point of the process is to remove barriers that keep people from performing jobs that they could do with some form of accommodation.

The process requires an individualized assessment of both the job and the specific physical or mental limitations of the individual that is directly related to the need for reasonable accommodation.

If an employee needs an accommodation, it is often advisable to provide a written notice to their employer that tells the employer that the employee has a disability, explains how the disability interferes with their job functions, and explains which accommodations are needed in order to perform the job’s essential functions.

Sharing Information about a Disability

The only time it is required to disclose the existence of a disabling condition in the workplace is when requesting a reasonable accommodation. The request can come from the employee or the employee’s medical provider.

The employee must be able to provide the employer with a list of restrictions that must be met to accommodate him or her. But this request for documentation does not entitle the employer to seek the employee’s entire medical record.

Fighting for the Disability Rights of California Employees

We believe that employers who discriminate against qualified individuals should be held accountable for their actions. If an employer or potential employer has violated your rights, our experienced ADA Attorney in California is ready to assist you.

Call (415) 534-1911 or email us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Learn more about Disability Discrimination.